June, 2020A young Auckland entrepreneurs undaunted about buying a Queenstown
motel property during the tourism-crippling Covid-19 lockdown.
Satyan Mehra and a friend have acquired Queenstown Motel
Apartments, on Frankton Road, from local couple Dianne and Peter
Smith, whod had the property since 1993.
They settled it eight days after lockdown started.
The Smiths originally sold the property and business in February last
year, though that deal eventually fell over.
A mortgage advisor, Mehra, who moved from India to study in Auckland
about 12 years ago, made a name for himself in 2011 when opening a
Pizza Hut franchise at a time owner Restaurant Brands was shutting
stores model it then adopted widely.
After selling his Pizza Hut interests, Mehra spent about 18 months
looking to buy into Queenstown, as he wanted to invest in tourism.
Last December, to get a foot in the door, he bought the lease of Caples
Court, in central Queenstown, selling it on three months later.
He got his wish for a freehold property when local New Zealand
Sothebys International Realty agent Dave Fea introduced him to
Queenstown Motel Apartments.
According to Property Guru, he and his Auckland friends company, QMA
Ltd, paid $6,195,000, plus GST, though they also spent a tidy sum buying
Mehra who bought his first house, in Auckland, when he was only 19
says he was aware the Covid-19 crisis was about to dent tourism when
they signed up in March, though he didnt think the lockdown would
occur so soon.
However, hes unnerved as theyre in it for the long term if you look
10 years ahead, I think its hard to go wrong.
He accepts the propertys underlying value may have dropped but thinks
that could be for only six to eight months.
Business will be about survival for the next six to 12 months, he says,
but long term hes optimistic, based on the motels prime location, just
600 metres from the CBD, its development potential and his faith in
When you think about tourism and NZ, whats the hotspot?
Queenstowns the hotspot if you thought Queenstowns tourism would
die, well, the entire countrys tourism would die first.
In the coming months, Mehra says theyll spend $500,000-plus
refurbishing six dated motel units and the three-bedroom management
As for the remaining 18 studio apartments, built in 2004, well keep
making small improvements.
Hopefully, a few years down the line well look at redevelopment.
Source: Mountain Scene
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